Enumeration and Election
As an enclave for "whites only" Ohio denied blacks suffrage rights and ignored them when deciding taxation and representation issues. The adjudication of race proved disastrous for the state. The courts decided that there were persons with African ancestry who, by virtue of their complexion, might be entitled to "the privileges of white." This was called the Visible Admixture Law, enacted by the legislature in 1859, which caused more problems than it solved. The matter was the subject of litigation and incessant debate. Ohioans could find no common ground between the code of racism in the state and its law of freedom.
Constitution of Ohio, Article 1, 1802.
Section 2. Within one year after the first meeting of the General Assembly, and within every subsequent term of four years, an enumeration of all white male inhabitants, above twenty-one years of age, shall be made in manner as shall be directed by law. The number of representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the Legislature and apportioned among the several counties, according to the number of white male inhabitants above twenty-one years of age in each, and shall never be less than twenty-four, nor greater than thirty-six, until the number of white male inhabitants, above twenty-one years of age, shall be twenty-two thousand; and after that event, at such a ratio that the whole number of representatives shall never be less than thirty-six, nor exceed seventy-two.